Adidas Is Wondering What to Do With $1.3 Billion in Yeezy Sneakers

Their response to the idea of selling the Yeezy stock for a good purpose was split. Holly Huffnagle, director of combating antisemitism for the American Jewish Committee, said a financial investment from Adidas toward fighting hatred against Jews could be “a good start,” but called on the company to make a more comprehensive effort.

But Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria, warned that regardless of what happened with the proceeds, returning Yeezy shoes to the market would send the wrong signal.

“By deciding to sell West’s merchandise now, Adidas would choose to turn back the clock and severely compromise its own values no matter where the proceeds go: Yeezy products would end up on the streets as if nothing had happened,” Ms. Knobloch said.

Analysts underlined the various and competing factors involved in the decision over the Yeezy stock.

“When there are more than financial questions at play, the dance between figuring out donating versus liquidating, versus simply moving on, gets complicated,” said Simeon Siegel, a retail analyst at BMO Capital Markets.

The company previously said it was “the sole owner of all design rights to existing products” under the partnership, but Mr. Gulden said on Wednesday that it would not consider rebranding the Yeezy inventory. If it were sold instead of being destroyed, Ye would still be entitled to a portion of the proceeds as stipulated under his royalty agreement, although Adidas would not make a profit, Mr. Gulden said.

“Losing the Yeezy business is so hard,” he told reporters on Wednesday, praising the creativity of the collaboration on multiple levels, including the design, marketing and its use of social media and apps.


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